Giving Back

Ken Fineran Stepping Down as Scoutmaster of Troop 17 after 36 Years of Service - Dan Cannon Steps Up

f270391afec973592126_image2.JPG
Troop 17 Leaders Cannon, McKenna and Fineran
f270391afec973592126_image2.JPG

Boy Scout Troop 17 of Millburn-Short Hills will see big changes in its leadership this year when Ken Fineran steps down after 36 years as troop scoutmaster.  Fineran has been the scoutmaster for generations of the township’s scouts from 1979 to this year. He has been involved with scouting for 55 years, as a boy in East Orange, rising to the rank of Eagle Scout, while a student at Upsala College, and even while stationed with the Army in Panama. Fineran retired in 2001 as Claims Manager of the Special Investigations Unit of Allstate Insurance. In recognition of his service to the town, he was awarded this past Wednesday by the Millburn Township Committee with the Community Service Award. He was also recognized for his induction to the Eagle Scout Hall of Fame and for serving on the Millburn Fourth of July Committee and the Veterans Recognition Committee. Fineran is not going far – he will become the assistant scoutmaster of Troop 17.

Stepping up as scoutmaster will be Dan Cannon, currently communications lead and assistant scoutmaster. Cannon, a Brooklyn boy, grew up playing baseball and had no involvement with scouting. When his son Ryan joined the Cub Scouts, Cannon participated in many of the trips and meetings. When Ryan moved up to Boy Scouts, Cannon wanted to stay involved and saw the need for adult volunteers. He eventually became the assistant scoutmaster. Cannon works as the director of finance for Schindler Elevator and is active coaching his daughter’s baseball team. He looks forward to Fineran’s continuing mentorship when the men switch leadership positions. The third member of Troop 17's leadership triumvirate is Jim McKenna who is the troop committee chairman and charter organization representative. McKenna grew up in Millburn and rose from Cub Scout to Eagle Scout and was actually presented with his Eagle Scout badge by Fineran, the “only Scoutmaster I have known.” McKenna is the director of global operations and account management at Unisys.

Troop 17 was founded in 1945 and is chartered through St. Rose of Lima in Short Hills. There are currently 60 boys in the troop. Boy Scouts include boys from 11 to 18-years-old. Prior to that, they can be in Cub Scouts from the age of 7 to 10 and ½ year old. The scouts work towards Eagle Scout rank which must be attained by the age of 18. Nationally, 4 percent of boys who join scouts become Eagle Scouts. In Troop 17, there have been 100 Eagle Scouts, 84 since Fineran became scoutmaster. To become an Eagle Scout, a boy must earn 21 badges and complete a leadership project. There is a core curriculum of badges that are mandated. The leadership project is not a one-step job; the aspiring Eagle Scout must plan the project, submit the idea for approval, recruit volunteers to facilitate the project, fundraise, and oversee and supervise the execution of the project. When it is completed, the scout must summarize the project and submit the details to the Eagle Scout Board of Review for final approval.

Sign Up for E-News

The National Council of Boy Scouts issues charters to various institutions to be chartering organizations. As the local such organization, St. Rose provides a safe meeting place in the church basement every week, provides storage space and the church van, and hosts the annual Eagle Court of Honor meeting.

Troop 17 leaders stress that the intent of the Boy Scout program is to prepare young men to “make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the scout oath and law.” The scout oath includes the pledge to do one’s duty to “God and my country and to obey the Scout law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Fineran explains that the scouting program allows young men to develop leadership skills and confidence and is also “lots of fun – but not just fun.” He opined that while many complain about today’s youth, he feels that those involved in scouting are “in a good gang, doing good work.” McKenna credits his Boy Scout background as having provided him with “tremendous benefits, including getting comfortable at public speaking.” The mistakes he made at 14 and 15 while in scouts, he could then correct, and this made him a stronger person in later years. His daughter is a Daisy Scout and his wife is a leader of the Girl Scout’s unit. Cannon appreciates the values that scouting instills in boys at a young age including survival skills and independence. He cites its teaching of first aid skills, camping, and family values. He became involved in the Boy Scouts because he does not want to be a “drop-off type of parent.” He wants to “make it work” regardless of his work and travel demands.

Membership in scouting is declining. There were 2.4 million scouts in 2014, which is down 7 percent since 2013. McKenna wishes that people would see the “value of scouting and that there be a resurgence.” There are challenges to the program. The education system is very competitive and there are many demands on children’s time. Sports coaches are not “terribly sensitive to the commitment scouting requires” and, therefore, scouting loses boys to sports. There is also the challenge of attracting more parents to leadership roles, many of whom cite their busy lives as restricting their involvement. Fineran stresses that both the boys and their parents can accomplish more if they sit down and do time management planning. He doesn’t want just “Joe Scout but a well-rounded person.”

The three scout leaders stress that the township has been on the receiving end of the Troop 17’s largesse. Many Eagle Scout aspirants’ projects involve service to the community, including tending to the shrubs at Saint Rose, assembling a rabbit hutch and bat house at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, painting the fence around the revolutionary war cemetery on White Oak Ridge Road, and building a fence around Greenwood Gardens. The scouts are also rewarded for their service and hours of commitment with fun trips that in 2016 will include one to Gettysburg.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at http://www.twp.millburn.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/3258 or go ...

Letter to the Editor: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle-Class

April 8, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_343f4e7d32430a1ca3f1_renoir4

Wed, April 25, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Pierre-August Renoir: The Joys of Life at ...

Carousel_image_8e4c12d5d04a698a9898_43275a548e514aa5d6e2_pierre-auguste-renoir-1

Wed, April 25, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Pierre-August Renoir: The Joys of Life

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_d69ac659475856ac5c62_22e3d4dba7bd6cc77875_casa_logo

Wed, April 25, 6:00 PM

Millburn Public Library, Millburn

Millburn Library Hosts CASA Volunteer Information ...

Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_a94209220b7af2f9b4b9_7ba9f48b6accba8b6e72_29354610_1585682268146667_4091748840029675392_o-2

Thu, April 26, 11:00 AM

Bow Tie Cinema , Millburn

Encore Presentation of the 2018 Millburn Film Fest

Millburn Recreation Pool, Golf & Tennis Memberships

April 25, 2018

The Millburn Recreation Department is accepting Online and mail in registration for Pool, Golf & Tennis memberships.  Registrations are restricted to Township residents except for a limited number of employed in town and non-resident memberships for the Par 3 Golf Course.  Those who register for the pool by May 1st are provided six free pool guest passes per family or 3 free pool ...

Millburn Firefighters Host Cook-off to Benefit Opportunity Project

Millburn Firefighters Host Cook-off for Brain Injury 

The Millburn Police Department accepted the challenge made by the Millburn Fire Department to cook the ultimate slider in a Cook-off to raise funds for Opportunity Project, a local non-profit that assists individuals recovering from brain injury. 

 Firefighter Dave Hammond, who has taken home the prize in various cooking ...

Cardinal Tobin to Speak at B’nai Jeshurun

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, will welcome Cardinal Joseph Tobin on Wednesday, May 2nd at 7:00 pm.  Cardinal Tobin currently serves at the head of the Archdiocese of Newark. Members of the community are invited to hear Cardinal Tobin speak about how Pope Francis is forging a culture of encounter by renewing the dialogue between Christians and Jews.  In the pope’s ...